## Definitions Edit

### Encryption Edit

A **key** is "a value used in combination with an algorithm to encrypt or decrypt data."^{[1]}

### General Edit

**Key** means "[m]ajor or most important; critical to achieving your intended outcome."^{[2]}

### Hardware Edit

A **key** (also called an **electronic key**) is

“ | [t]he numerical value used to control cryptographic operations, such as decryption, encryption, signature generation, or signature verification.^{[3]}
| ” |

“ | [u]sually a sequence of random or pseudorandom bits used initially to set up and periodically change the operations performed in crypto-equipment for the purpose of encrypting or decrypting electronic signals, or for determining electronic counter-countermeasures patterns, or for producing other key[s].^{[4]}
| ” |

“ | [a] parameter used in conjunction with a cryptographic algorithm that determines its operation. Examples include:
- 1. The computation of a digital signature from data, and
- 2. The verification of a digital signature.
^{[5]}
| ” |

## References Edit

- ↑ Privacy and Civil Liberties Policy Development Guide and Implementation Templates, App. E, Glossary.
- ↑ Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builders, at 26.
- ↑ NICCS, Explore Terms: A Glossary of Common Cybersecurity Terminology (full-text).
- ↑ CNSSI 4009, at 35.
- ↑ FIPS 186-3.